Avatar Taryn...
Hi, I'm keen to use massage to calm my baby but when is it safe to start. My baby is 3 weeks old and I'm not sure if it's ok to massage her back whilst she's on her tummy as she struggles to hold her neck up.

Answer: Hi Taryn,

Thanks for your question and congratulations on your baby! It’s great that you want to massage your baby and it’s generally safe to begin to massage your baby from the day she is born.

Before we begin infant massage, we always ask our baby’s permission, as this helps us begin to learn to read our baby’s cues. We also continue to look at our baby throughout the massage routines to check the signs that she’s still enjoying the massage.

If your baby does seem uncomfortable then you can stop and resume the massage another time, or if you think your baby may be uncomfortable in a certain position, then you can change position and see if she seems a bit happier.

With a three week old, you may prefer to massage her back with her lying across your legs or lying with her skin-to-skin against your chest, but also baby’s at this age can become overstimulated very quickly so you will probably only find that she is comfortable here for a minute or two – and then you can gradually build up the time as she gains more head control.

Tummy time is very important for babies, but little and often is a good guide. Enjoy! And thanks for writing in. Katie

Answered: 17 Oct 2010